NEW YORK – Joy Harjo, who recently completed a three-year run as the country’s poet laureate, will have a picture book out next spring.
Random House Children’s Books announced Wednesday that Harjo’s “Remember,” adapted from her celebrated poem of the same name, is scheduled for March 21, 2023. The book will feature illustrations by the award-winning Michaela Goade.
“In simple and direct language, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, urges readers to pay close attention to who they are, the world they were born into and how all inhabitants on Earth are connected,” the publisher's announcement reads in part.
The poem “Remember,” published nearly 40 years ago, is a tribute to the cosmos and our place in it. Admirers of “Remember” extend beyond the poetry community: NASA announced last year that some lines were included in a plaque/time capsule on a spacecraft headed for the Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter.
“‘Remember’ is one of my earliest poems. It came together as I was first becoming a poet, and needed to remind myself about what mattered,” Harjo said in a statement. “Every one of us needs spiritual food for how to negotiate this life of struggles and beauty. The poem has a life of its own. This poem has accompanied me much of my life. It is on a spacecraft heading to Jupiter, it is a song, dances have been made of it and it has been translated into my Mvskoke language.”
Harjo, 71, was the first Native American to serve as poet laureate. Earlier this week, the Library of Congress announced she would be succeeded by Ada Limón. Goade’s illustrations for Carole Lindstrom’s “We Are Water Protectors” brought her a Caldecott Medal in 2021, the first time a Native American had received the prestigious children’s prize.